Saturday, March 13, 2010

Goreyana: The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost

Goreyana author Irwin Terry out-does himself with his notes about the various pieces of artwork for The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost:
  • Edward Gorey provided artwork for the full wrap around dust jacket, the hand lettered type for the cover and spine, a frontis drawing, and two interior spot illustrations. I have all of these pieces of art in my collection, and also have the water color sketch Mr. Gorey made for the dust wrapper design.
  • Mr. Gorey often blocked out color paintings by making a loosely painted sketch before proceeding with the final illustration. I am not aware of any other preliminary art which exists from the Bellairs series. The preliminary art shows all the major elements in place for the dust jacket, although the evil floating face in front of Johnny on the cover is inexplicably smiling! This piece of art is a wonderful look into how Edward Gorey sketched out his paintings. Artists often create color renderings before attacking complicated paintings, and Mr. Gorey's sketches are always very loose. This piece has paint liberally splashed about!
  • It has been pointed at Bellairsia that on the first edition hard cover edition of this book, the spelling on the stained glass window is incorrect - "ZABU". It is corrected on the paperback edition to "ZEBU". Looking closely at the original artwork, there is a practically invisible paste-up over the showing where Mr. Gorey corrected his mistake. This misspelling is even more unusual considering the word is spelled correctly on the sketch.
  • The two pieces of interior artwork complete the collection from this title. The smaller of the two could have easily been lost over the years, and the diagram drawn by "Professor Coote" at the end of the story is another example of the care Edward Gorey took for even simple illustrations.

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